When I decided not to register for any triathlons this year and just do the Adirondack Distance Festival Half-Marathon, I set a goal for myself to get faster. My training runs were faster than last year and I felt ready to run today's half and better last year's time.
Knowing that I could have done it makes me feel really good, even though I didn't.
For the first time, I had someone to run the race with. Mark, a friend and former ultramarathoner, decided to get back into running this year and trained for the same race. Our schedules were different so we didn't do any training runs together, but we enjoyed supporting each other on Facebook and when we saw each other around town. Our training paces were pretty close, so we agreed to run together.
I could have run faster if I'd pushed hard, but, in the end, running with Mark became more important than the time. I didn't want to run fast by myself. I wanted to finish the way I started, with my friend.
Unseasonably warm weather, one week after unseasonably cold temperatures, slowed our pace a bit. 80 degrees is a bit warm for a fall marathon, and there were a number of people needing ice baths at the end. (At least last weekend's 30 degrees cooled the lake for all the runners who jumped in.)
I didn't push. I didn't melt in the heat. I only got a couple of small blisters, which I didn't feel until we were almost done. My bad knee isn't even sore. And I had the most fun I ever had running 13.1 miles.
We finished in 2 hours and 22 minutes, which is a decent, middle-of-the-pack time.
Thanks, Mark, for keeping me company. I'm smiling in the race pictures, thanks to you.